This is today’s edition of The Download our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology.
Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year discovering treatments to slow aging
Anyone who has more money than they know what to do with eventually tries to cure aging. Google founder Larry Page has tried it. Jeff Bezos has tried it. Tech billionaires Larry Ellison and Peter Thiel have tried it. Now the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has around as much money as all of them put together, is going to try it.
The Saudi royal family has started a not-for-profit organization called the Hevolution Foundation that plans to spend up to $1 billion a year of its oil wealth to investigate the biology of aging and find ways to extend the number of years people live in good health.
The vast sum, which dwarfs American aging research spending, could make the Gulf state the largest single sponsor of researchers attempting to understand the underlying causes of aging—and how it might be slowed down with drugs. But US research organizations considering whether to take Saudi Arabia’s money will be forced to contend with the specter of its human rights record. Read the full story.
I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.
1 Global energy markets are changing dramatically
The dual concerns of climate change and the war in Ukraine are forcing governments to become far more active. (Foreign Policy $)
+ Biden is significantly stepping up measures to support solar panel manufacturing. (Reuters $)
2 Axon has paused plans to make a taser-equipped drone
After nine members of its ethics board resigned over its proposed plan to install the drones in schools to prevent future mass shootings. (WP $)
3 How the CIA was hacked
And why it missed the obvious red flags of its most probable candidate. (New Yorker $)
4 Why robots are edging out humans in South Korean factories
Scared of breaching a new worker safety law, companies are reducing their human workforces. (Rest of World)
A new generation of AI-powered robots is taking over warehouses. (MIT Technology Review)
5 Bitcoin’s founding principles aren’t standing the test of time
The myth of a decentralized network is largely just that—a myth. (NYT $)
White hat hackers are thwarting crypto criminals by stealing their targets first. (Motherboard)
Law enforcement crime units are getting better at seizing stolen crypto hauls, too. (NBC)
6 Dating apps are overrun with teenagers
Many users are too young—yet the platforms are failing to prevent them joining. (The Atlantic $)
Forget dating apps: Here’s how the net’s newest matchmakers help you find love. (MIT Technology Review)
7 Non-addictive apps and games are taking off
Which appears to be a new, healthier direction for Silicon Valley. (Bloomberg $)
8 Why life after chronic pain is so confusing
Once you’re no longer experiencing it, defining your identity is tough. (Slate $)
Cannabis component THC may be better than CBD at easing chronic pain. (Insider)
There’s work underway to ease pain without opioids. (MIT Technology Review)
9 Tech whistleblowers are mostly women
Which is symbolic of the tech industry’s wider issues with gender equality. (Fast Company)
She risked everything to expose Facebook. Now she’s telling her story. (MIT Technology Review)
10 Millennials are boring
It’s not just because they can’t afford to do anything fun. (New Statesman $)
Quote of the day
“Sticking to a rigid, centuries-old, time-based system doesn’t make sense.”
—Juliet Schor, an economist and sociologist at Boston College, explains the reasoning behind switching to a four-day work week, an idea that’s getting its biggest trial yet in the UK, reports the BBC.
The big story
A new implant for blind people jacks directly into the brain
Bernardeta Gómez was 43 when toxic optic neuropathy destroyed the bundles of nerves that connect her eyes to her brain, destroying her ability to see. But after 16 years of darkness, Gómez was temporarily able to make out a very low-resolution semblance of the world represented by glowing white-yellow dots and shapes.
This was possible thanks to a modified pair of glasses, blacked out and fitted with a tiny camera. The contraption is hooked up to a computer that processes a live video feed, turning it into electronic signals. A cable suspended from the ceiling links the system to a port embedded in the back of Gómez’s skull that is wired to a 100-electrode implant in the visual cortex in the rear of her brain.
Using this, Gómez identified lights, letters,
By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: Saudi Arabia’s $1 billion plan to slow aging, and global energy turmoil
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/06/07/1053157/download-saudi-arabia-1-billion-slow-aging-global-energy-turmoil/
Published Date: Tue, 07 Jun 2022 12:05:24 +0000
LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.
This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.
The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.
“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México
Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.
The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.
Some new developments underway at EXMO:
Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.
EXMO’s new logo
The rationale for the re-brand:
“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding
The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country.
The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already.
Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.
The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines.
If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.
The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.
The case of Texas
The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.
One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more.
These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.
The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts. Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.
Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures
By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000
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